Kigali Special Economic Zone has generated over 16,000 permanent jobs – RDB

By Wycliffe Nyamasege
On 30 April 2024 at 01:01

Kigali Special Economic Zone (KSEZ) has generated more than 16,300 permanent jobs in the last 17 years it has been operational, translating to an average of more than 950 jobs every year.

Latest statistics from the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) show that KSEZ contributed to the creation of 1,300 jobs in the Rwandan economy last year.

Established in 2007, KSEV aims to accommodate various industries, including heavy and light manufacturing, large-scale industrial plants, those needing robust national/international communication networks and firms requiring close collaboration.

Additionally, it caters to wholesalers, chemical, pharmaceutical and plastic industries, as well as warehousing, telecommunications and other services.

The latest report from RDB shows that 243 companies operating within KSEZ have collectively contributed $460 million (RWF 590 billion) in export revenues since its inception.

Last year, the total revenue generated from goods and services exports amounted to $3.5 billion (RWF 4.4 trillion), representing an increase of 17.2 per cent compared to 2022.

The top 10 exports from Rwanda were unwrought gold (incl. gold plated with platinum), zirconium ore, tin ore, tungsten ore, cement, malt extract, wheat or meslin flour, cereal flours, coffee, and tea.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) received the lion’s share of exports, amounting to 56.9 per cent, primarily consisting of goods such as minerals and horticulture products.

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) was second, accounting for 10.4 per cent of the exports, followed by China (5.0%), Hong Kong (2.6%), and the United Kingdom (2.2%).

National carrier, RwandAir, transported a total of 4,595 tons of cargo, with the majority of shipments destined for Dubai, the United Kingdom, and Belgium.

The export cargo increased by 22.7 per cent in 2023 compared to the previous year.

RDB attributes the growth in export cargo to increased capacity out of Kigali to the UAE market and increased frequency of flights out of Kigali to London, which presented opportunities for more cargo shipments out of Kigali.

The opening of the route to France also contributed to the growth of the export sector in 2023.